FATA must be at par with the rest of the Country

LogoAfter the departure of British from the Indian subcontinent Pashtun were ‘thrown to the wolves’, as lamented by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan popularly known as Bacha Khan.  Bacha Khan’s demand of independent Pashtunistan was rejected by both Congress and the British in one way or the other. Although he took oath in Pakistan’s constituent assembly, modeled on the British colonial system, but his main aim after the independence was to unite the Pashtun in a single geographical area.   The British snatched this area from the then Afghan Amir named Abdurrahman, although the Amir had warned them of consequences.

“But if you should cut them out of my dominions, they will neither be of any use to you nor to me: you will always be engaged in fighting or other troubles with them, and they will always go on plundering. As long as your Government is strong and in peace, you will be able to keep them quiet by a strong hand, but if at any time a foreign enemy appears on the borders of India, these frontier tribes will be your worst enemies . . . . In your cutting away from me these frontier tribes, who are people of my nationality and my religion, you will injure my prestige in the eyes of my subjects, and will make me weak, and my weakness is injurious to your Government”.

The British than divided the Pashtun land into FATA, FRs, Balochistan and settled districts for their own perennial purposes. After the departure of British in 1947 the Pakistani state continued with the same British policies and deemed it important for its strategic interests, just like British, not to merge FATA with the main stream Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and thus it has been kept away segregated from the world.

Now, it is part of Pakistan and not Afghanistan and it is a shame that Pakistan is denying the basic human rights to FATA residents by following in the footsteps of the British colonial rulers of pre-independence era. All the Pashtun nationalist parties in FATA especially ANP along with JUI and QWP have been campaigning to unite the area of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The solution is very simple that the area should be merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which will result in the provision of fundamental rights to the people of FATA along with representation in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly. Some status quo forces from FATA oppose the abolition of governing system in FATA and therefore oppose merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which is a very bad omen for the whole Pashtun belt. It is also very devastative that the nationalist party Pakhtunkhwa Mili Awami Party also opposes the FATA merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which is indeed a big setback as they have always claimed to be the champions of Pashtun rights. We are living in 21st century and the century old FCR is not compatible with the present time. FATA must be at par with the rest of the country. In presence of so many crises, the rulers are involved in a fruitless debate on the issue of good governance. Good governance is fundamental right of the people of Pakistan and it should not be denied on any pretext.


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